Whatís best way to plant grass?
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    Wvdeere's Avatar
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    Whatís best way to plant grass?

    I need to plant about 1/4 acre of grass on some reclaimed yard this year. Itís too far away from the house to keep it watered. So should I just seed it and take it in and let Mother Nature take care of it? Iíd like to fast track it a little as this huge chunk of yard had been brown since I moved in so would be nice to see it green and able to mow. Would straw on top of the seed help keep it moist till it grows? Iím sure I can get it but if anyone has any tips/tricks Iíd be willing to try em? Planting a 50lb bag of 31 grass seed. Thanks.


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    We used the netting with the embedded straw over a seeded area and it worked well keeping it moist and was relatively easy to remove when the time came. I was able to wet it down when the rain was too sparse, though. How far away is it - can you get however many feet of poly pipe to use temporarily for watering? I think routine watering when its germinating & sprouting is the key for it to grow in quick & thick.
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    I have just planted about 1/2 acre of K-31 grass seed on my new lawn and I tilled the soil about an inch down. Got it as fine as I could, leveled it with a drag harrow, spread my seed, went over it again with a drag harrow. Then it started pouring rain and has not been dry enough to spread straw which was my intent. The seed is starting to come up and with what looks likes a pretty good stand. Its important to make a soft enough bed so the seeds have good ground contact and is not as easily washed away. Straw is ideal but I have found K-31 fescue is a pretty hearty grass that seems to grow without it.

    If you cant water it I would try to plan for planting right before a rain.

    Good Luck!
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    Spreading straw over an area you can't irrigate would help to hold the moisture and the straw will just get chopped into the lawn eventually. The straw will also make it harder for the birds to pick all of the seeds out. Ideally, using a drill planting machine which plants the grass subsurface in rows is the best approach but those are expensive machines and few places rent them. If you have any hills or areas which can be washed out, try and protect those with either straw bales or other the material designed to prevent erosion.

    Watering the grass is critical in the first two months. The ground needs to be kept moist, which is why the straw will help retain moisture. Normally, seed will germinate in 7 to 10 days and if 10 days after planting you aren't seeing new grass, the seed likely didn't get enough water. Getting a nice lawn is tricky......

    Before planting, Make sure to work into the soil a lawn starting fertilizer specifically designed for new grass planting. You do NOT want to use a "weed and feed" on the area until the grass is well established as it will damage the new grass. Then follow the directions and keep the grass watered and you should have a nice, thick lawn by late summer.....

    I would try and find some way to consistently get water to the site. In our area, this year we haven't had that problem because it never stops
    raining.....Seriously, I think it has rained every 48 hours or more often for at least the last month...............or three.

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    This^
    you gotta have cover and water for the seeds to germinate. Quickest way Iíve seen is Hydroseed but you gotta keep it moist at all times no matter what method you use. Loose soil for the seeds to anchor to, and a thin layer of whatever you got for cover. Water regularly to stimulate the seeds to open. Once theyíre in their germination stage, itís important to not let it dry out fully because they will die in that stage. Then, once you see little whiskers poking up, keep the watering regimen for another week or so for the stragglers. Gotta have that water though. Rent a water buffalo if you need remote water.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wvdeere View Post
    I need to plant about 1/4 acre of grass on some reclaimed yard this year. It’s too far away from the house to keep it watered. So should I just seed it and take it in and let Mother Nature take care of it? I’d like to fast track it a little as this huge chunk of yard had been brown since I moved in so would be nice to see it green and able to mow. Would straw on top of the seed help keep it moist till it grows? I’m sure I can get it but if anyone has any tips/tricks I’d be willing to try em? Planting a 50lb bag of 31 grass seed. Thanks.


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    What is your schedule for completion - start immediately, fall, next year...? How do you plan to prepare the ground - till, plow, aerate...? Do you have any equipment - garden tiller? Tractor, neighbor with equipment, rent...?

    Best way is to get a soil test, apply required fertilizer & lime, work up the soil, apply & cover seed with a 1/2 inch or so of soil. Request rain. For best results, plant in the late summer or early fall.

    I remediated 3 acres of rocks, holes, stumps, weeds like this: starting in April, had Miss Utility locate buried lines, subsoiled 18”, removed stumps, rocks, etc & levelled with box blade & yard rake, tilled, applied lime & fertilizer, tilled again, broadcast buckwheat & covered with a chain drag, tilled twice more during the summer as buckwheat matured allowing it to reseed itself, tilled & broadcast KY31 & covered with chain drag in Late September.

    Overkill? You bet but with the little John Fawne 1025R, good equipment, sweat, $$$, patience... Beautiful!
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    Wvdeere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jjm1893 View Post
    What is your schedule for completion - start immediately, fall, next year...? How do you plan to prepare the ground - till, plow, aerate...? Do you have any equipment - garden tiller? Tractor, neighbor with equipment, rent...?

    Best way is to get a soil test, apply required fertilizer & lime, work up the soil, apply & cover seed with a 1/2 inch or so of soil. Request rain. For best results, plant in the late summer or early fall.

    I remediated 3 acres of rocks, holes, stumps, weeds like this: starting in April, had Miss Utility locate buried lines, subsoiled 18Ē, removed stumps, rocks, etc & levelled with box blade & yard rake, tilled, applied lime & fertilizer, tilled again, broadcast buckwheat & covered with a chain drag, tilled twice more during the summer as buckwheat matured allowing it to reseed itself, tilled & broadcast KY31 & covered with chain drag in Late September.

    Overkill? You bet but with the little John Fawne 1025R, good equipment, sweat, $$$, patience... Beautiful!
    Will be immediately. There used to be a building and gravel driveway basically in the front yard. I raked and scooped out as much gravel as possible. And then hauled about 3 dump trailer loads of soil to cover what gravel was left after a few months of rain. Yesterday the top soil was finally dry enough to spread out with the bucket then raked and smoothed it. I bought 50lb bag of grass seed. Itís mostly flat. Iíll try to take or find a pic. I may be able to put a few water hoses together and water it. I was able to seed another area this winter and of course because of the rain it grew very well.


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    I've read all the posts here on growing grass. I can't think of a thing to ad to this because I have tried for over fifty years to lay down grass seed & get it to grow. I no longer care about it. If I have a bare area, I just let the weeds fill it in. For me its a waste of time and a lot of money. Weeds are green too. Anyway, I'm a pretty good flower & veggie gardener. And so far I have no desire to eat the grass.
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    This area on the left is maybe 75x75 and imbedded with gravel from a previous driveway. I used loader and box blade to remove all I could. After last few months of rain some gravel has surfaced so I added 3 loads of topsoil and used landscape rake to spread out and cover stone.Click image for larger version.†

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    Thing to remember with watering, from seeding time to emergence, you don't need to "soak" the ground, only the top 1/2" or so needs to be wet as the seeds should be in the top 1/8" or so, BUT that top 1/2" needs to STAY damp the whole time.
    Once the grass has immerged, then you want to start watering deeper and less often, to encourage the roots to grow deeper which will help with drought tolerance overall.
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